COMMENTARY | The Arizona Diamondbacks may be a young team, but they've already had their share of busts when it comes to first-round draft picks.
Here are five examples:
He was the Arizona Diamondbacks' first ever draft pick in 1996, and he's probably the last player Snakes fans remember.
After struggling through the minors for six seasons, Bierbrodt finally showed some promise, starting the 2001 season with a 6-2 record and a 1.94 ERA for the Triple-A Tucson Sidewinders. He even made his big-league debut on June 7 of that year (so today is somewhat of an anniversary). But after five starts, a 2-2 record and an 8.22 ERA, Bierbrodt found himself back in the minors. Had he pitched well and stayed with the D-backs all year, he might have been a World Series champion.
Instead, he finished his career with a 6-9 record and a 6.66 ERA in brief stints with Arizona, Tampa Bay, Cleveland and Texas.
Arizona Diamondbacks fans might recognize the name Jack Cust from the plethora of baseball cards of the No. 30 overall pick in the 1997 MLB draft. Cust was the second first-round pick in D-backs history, and he and Bierbrodt (mentioned above) were the future of the new franchise in Phoenix.
Cust quickly moved through the minors, hitting 79 home runs in three seasons from 1999 to 2001. Like Bierbrodt, Cust made his major-league debut in 2001, the year the D-backs uncrowned the New York Yankees. But Cust was really only part of the late-year expanded roster, going 1-for-2 with a walk in three plate appearances. In the offseason, Cust was sent to the Colorado Rockies in a trade for LOOGY Mike Myers. Cust eventually bounced around, playing for six teams in 10 seasons and never living up to his draft-day hype.
Taken as the No. 15 overall pick in the 2004 MLB draft, Stephen Drew was supposed to be the D-backs' long-term solution at shortstop.
Don't get me wrong. Drew gave the D-backs four good seasons -- but not great ones. He also gave the Snakes two injury-plagued substandard seasons. With an uninspiring .266 batting average and .328 on-base percentage over six years in the desert and then being traded to the Oakland A's for a 17th-round draft pick, Sean Jamieson, Drew definitely underachieved, especially as an early first-round pick.
Justin Upton may be a bigger bust than most people think, as he never really lived up to his soaring expectations in the desert.
As the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 MLB draft, Upton was supposed to shake up the D-backs franchise that had fallen far after their 2001 World Series championship. His numbers weren't that bad, although he only hit .300 once in five seasons with the Snakes. But there was an "it" factor about Upton -- that he couldn't come through in the clutch and that he was not the centerpiece so many thought and hoped he'd be.
Like his brother B.J., Justin Upton is streaky. His explosive start in April this year and then his serious regression in May is reminiscent of what he did in the Grand Canyon State. He may very well shine in Atlanta, but he just wasn't what the D-backs thought they were getting in 2005.
Corey MyersCorey Myers is hands-down the biggest bust in franchise history. The hometown hero, born and bred in Phoenix, played for Desert Vista High School before being drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks as the fourth overall pick in 1999.
Myers was said to have had "an incomparable senior season" in high school, which led some teams to overvalue his draft stock. Nine seasons, five positions and several injuries later, Myers retired from the game of baseball, having never made a major-league debut.
Justin Bray, who studies sports history at the University of Utah, has followed the Arizona Diamondbacks since Andy Benes' first pitch at the BOB in 1998 . He was an original member of the Andy Fox Fan Club and even risked his life for a Dan Plesac autograph.
- Sports & Recreation
- Arizona Diamondbacks
- Jack Cust
- Nick Bierbrodt
- Justin Upton